Technology like smartphones and delivery apps have fostered a culture of instant gratification, but any life accomplishment feels more satisfying when you put in the work to attain a reward. Self-improvement – like learning a new language, training for a marathon or recovering from a substance use disorder – can’t happen overnight. Many people benefit from an extended care program for reasons like these.
1. Preventing a Relapse
Since addiction is a chronic disease with no known cure, staying in treatment longer will equip you with additional tools you can use to stay on track with your goals. You’ll also have more time to work closely with a therapist, who can help identify the root causes of your substance use disorder and any co-occurring mental health challenges.
If you are intimidated by the idea of putting your other priorities on hold to focus on your well-being, you might feel tempted to choose a shorter program. However, rushing the process could make you more vulnerable to a relapse, especially in the emotionally fraught stages of early recovery. The longer you spend developing healthy coping strategies, the better your chances of identifying and managing triggers.
2. Developing a Routine
Structure is a significant benefit of addiction treatment, but after completing your initial residential program, you may feel your days lack a sense of purpose. To avoid boredom, you’ll need to find a substitute activity to fill the hours you used to spend drinking or using. An extended care program can reinforce your new, healthy habits by allowing you to avoid having large swaths of free time that might tempt you to fall back into unproductive patterns.
3. Healing Your Brain and Body
Substance use disorders develop when your brain chemistry adapts to the presence of drugs or alcohol. While your brain has an amazing ability to stabilize after you stop using mood-altering substances, the process takes time.
Likewise, drinking and drug use exact a heavy toll on your physical health in the form of issues like malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and organ damage. In an extended care program, you will have opportunities to regain your physical well-being through nutrition and exercise. Then, you’ll be less likely to experience challenging cravings and mood swings after transitioning back into the “real world.”
4. Helping Your Family
Addiction creates complex issues within a family dynamic. At New Found Life, you can take advantage of family therapy to start resolving dysfunction and rebuilding trust.
Healing from addiction requires you to understand the aspects of your life that contributed to your substance abuse problem, including poorly defined boundaries and miscommunication. Attending therapy as a family will give you the support you need to start building a foundation for a healthier future.
Experience a Full Continuum of Care
Expecting an addiction recovery program to solve your problems overnight isn’t a realistic mindset. Instead, think of it as your first step in a lifelong journey to sobriety. Instead of getting frustrated that there are no shortcuts to success, think about all the accomplishments you’ve achieved and everything you can be grateful for.
At New Found Life, many of our clients choose to enter our extended care program after completing their initial 28-day stay in primary care. Residents usually stay in extended care for four to eight weeks, but you may opt to stay longer.
We have served the Long Beach community since 1993 by offering a comprehensive, client-first approach to recovery. To request help for yourself or someone you care about, contact us today.